Cricket-'Shocked' Warner responding well to IPL axing - Hyderabad

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - David Warner is "obviously shocked" after being removed as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain and axed from the team but understands what prompted the move, the struggling Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise said.

The Australian was stripped of captaincy on Saturday and was dropped from Sunday's match against Rajasthan Royals which Hyderabad lost by 55 runs under new captain Kane Williamson.

Hyderabad lost five of their first six games under Warner, who led them to their maiden IPL title in 2016, and remain rooted to the bottom of the points table after their seventh loss on Sunday.

Losing captaincy made Warner's spot in the playing XI untenable and Hyderabad team director Tom Moody said the franchise wanted to get the best out of their four overseas-player slots.

"He was obviously shocked and disappointed, and we'd be disappointed if he wasn't feeling that way," Moody told Star Sports channel.

"It means firstly that he's not going to be playing, purely a decision based on combination.

"We've come to a conclusion that the two overseas batters, an all-rounder and Rashid Khan is the best combination. We've looked at it closely."

Williamson and opener-stumper Jonny Bairstow are Hyderabad's preferred overseas batsmen, while Afghan Mohammed Nabi and West Indian Jason Holder are likely to be alternated in the all-rounder's slot.

Head coach Trevor Bayliss called Warner a "trooper" for how the 34-year-old handled his double disappointment.

"Like any player who gets dropped, he's disappointed," Bayliss said after the loss against Rajasthan.

"But as you saw, he was charging around as the 12th man doing as much he could for the team.

"He's been good, he's been talking with Kane and some of the other players and giving them advice."

Asked about Warner's chances of returning to the playing XI at some stage in the eight-team tournament, Williamson said, "He's a world-class player. The cards are on the table, and I'm sure a number of conversations will be had."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)